And why don't you


Part 34 of the 64-part series called "moon photos"

go ahead and submit your writing to magazines,
publishers, or greeting-card companies, waiting for
little ships made of paper bearing the supplies
of words to keep their little seaside villages
running year-round, burning the boats in their furnaces
to heat their kettles and homes, light their ways
on the dark paths in their midnight trysts,
when they suddenly veer off into the brush and descend
into a gully where the creek pools under the moon
and they get naked together, unspool each other
like knitting, like steel wool glinting in a mine
as it washes out a cast-iron pot after dinner,
the gaslights hissing, as they do, into the subterranean
black? Why not just throw caution to the wind,
as they say, as is said by those who wish to say something
meaningful, but can’t find the words in themselves,
in their own bodies, and they borrow someone else’s
for a while, voice, body, mind, touch, they take them
and they hold them up, like a shield, like
a lantern against the night that blinds them even as
it illumines the way, rocks in sharp relief,
shadows cut out from paper, everything reduced
to black and white and black again, and actually put
something creative into the hands of another,
who can take your dull clay and throw it into an urn,
paint it a hundred colors, spin it around
all over town, show everyone the thing you’ve done, how
grand, how expansive, how expensive it all can be,
if only everyone would look at it, and everyone
does, it’s looked at, bas-relief against the wall,
it’s thrown and it smashes into a hundred pieces
and every piece is picked up, picked over, picked
apart by a new person, they steal from each other
like jackals, you want to say, but really, they’re more like
dogs fighting over a bag of food thrown into the yard
after a week of rain and mud and dead grass and shit
and you feel like you’re the dog food, or you’re the arm
throwing the food, or the owner of the arm, and you’re
not sure how you feel about all of it, you think maybe
it’s something you don’t want to get involved in, and
to top it all off you’re a little confused
by the reach of the metaphor, and the length
of the sentence (though you always loved the sentences
where their own length was self-consciously
fussed over), and you’re realizing now
that you’re doing it again, the thing you do much
of the time, which you think might be self-sabotage,
writing about writing about writing about writing
about god knows what, because the layers are
too deep at this point, turtles all the way down, you’d say
if you wanted to, and you did, so you did?
But why not just do it, just jump off the edge
and give the thing to someone, see how far down
the turtles go, after all, for yourself, look every one
in the eye and wink at it as you descend, further
into the abyss, until, from above, it looks like you’ve winked
out of any kind of existence at all, why not
take yourself somewhere only you can go, not worrying
about how you’ll survive to tell the tale, but
how you’ll fall, gracefully, fleetingly, into the black?